Clook Life

Direct Debits are go!

I’m happy to report that our new Direct Debit payment gateway is now live! The whole process has been quite a learning experience for me…

As most already know, Direct Debits allow providers to charge their clients direct from their bank account using a Direct Debit agreement. Due to the ever increasing restrictions on Maestro card use we felt this was the best way to go for offering clients an alternate method of payment without using credit cards.

I hadn’t accounted firstly on how difficult direct debit facilities were to get setup. Assuming you can find a bank/provider who wants to do business (especially in the current climate), the application process is very similar to credit card merchant accounts with a large amount of detail, credit checks, references and so on.? Thankfully we’re in a decent position on this front and have nice figures to back us up from the credit card processing stats so this wasn’t a major problem.

The second hurdle was the technicalities involved in automating the whole process. To compare, most credit/debit card gateways are pretty straight forward and use a variety of HTTP or XML calls back and forth which can be coded up easier.? For Direct Debit, how things are different!? For security reasons I cannot go into huge detail but the programming involved with automating our Direct Debit facility involved some technologies that are not exactly standard – nevertheless, after a lot of all night coding sessions and a huge amount of testing + tweaking we’re now ready to make it live after a few months of private trials.

Our clients can setup a new Direct Debit agreement online via the client area without the hastle of filling in and posting the paper form that many think of with Direct Debits.? Following this, the agreement is activated and the rest handled at our side!

For further info, see here: https://www.clook.info/kb/151

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